11:00 AM EDT, March 10, 2013
In the months before the election last fall, there was much heated debate about voter identification laws. The core argument made by the opposition was that any law that could impede one's ability to exercise a Constitutional right was a bad law. Where has all that outrage gone? Do those "protectors" of our Constitution still feel the same way or did they only care when they thought that it may affect their candidate's chances?
Unfortunately, many of those who claimed to be defenders of our Constitutional rights have since gone mute, or even worse, are now supporting an assault on a different Constitutional right. Now, they are using phrases like "common sense" to describe the proposed taxation and controlled dispensing of a Constitutional right.
In the voter ID debate there was one issue — the impediments citizens may encounter while attempting to exercise their Constitutional right. Imagine the outrage if voters were required to be fingerprinted or the government charged a fee to obtain a "voter license."
What if that voter license had to be renewed every five years? Or voters were required to attend a "voter education class?" Or a shortage of government-certified instructors meant a lengthy wait for voter education? Or a record was kept of how each citizen had voted, in case it was needed for a yet undetermined reason.
Perhaps then citizens would be required to report how they had voted previously. Again, it would be for some undetermined future use.
Any one of these restrictions would, and should, be cause for outrage. And every one of these restrictions directly correlates to an infringement upon our Second Amendment rights currently being considered by the Maryland General Assembly.
The Bill of Rights is not to be served piecemeal, we must defend it in its entirety.
Mark Jefferies, Annapolis
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